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Euro 2012 Betting Tips: Who Will Win Spain vs. France Match?

Soccer Betting Tips for Euro 2012: Expect Defense To Rule For France vs. Spain: In what might amount to be the best of the Euro 2012 fixtures to date, France will take on Spain at Donbass Arena on Saturday night. These two sides are clearly amongst the best in the world, and they both have a very similar style of play that could make for a great match. Don’t miss our Euro Cup quarterfinals picks for the duel featuring Spain vs. France with a spot in the semifinals on the line!

Spain and France both looked like they were going to coast into the second round of Euro 2012 after both had four points to show for their work in their first two matches of play in their respective groups. That being said, the Spanish knew that they ran into some problems against a stingy Croatian team that nearly send them out of the tournament in shocking form in Group C. France ended up getting some help along the way from its rivals from England in the form of a Three Lions win over Ukraine, but in the end, a 2-0 loss to Sweden definitely wasn’t the way that Les Bleus wanted to go into the quarterfinals, as it set up this brutal match against La Roja instead of getting Italy.

Spain vs. France Schedule and Match Information
Spain vs. France Match Date/Time: Saturday, June 23rd, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Spain vs. France Stadium: Donbass Arena
Spain vs. France on TV: ESPN2, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Spain vs. France Euro 2012!
Spain vs. France Match Odds: Spain -0.5 (-120)
Spain vs. France Betting Line Total: 2 (Over -115)

Spain’s defense is always one of the best in the world, and we have seen that over the course of the last two international tournaments. La Roja only conceded a single goal to Antonio Di Natale against Italy in the opening match of this tournament, and since that point, there have been over 200 consecutive scoreless minutes. The Spanish love to control the ball and make some very calculated moves in the center of the field, and the talent level that is out there is just remarkable. Cesc Fabregas has had to play off of the bench just to get into the midfield, and Jesus Navas has only made two appearances as well. There hasn’t been a lot that we have seen out of Iker Casillas in net, but he has just that one goal to show against him thus far. Fabregas and Fernando Torres both have two goals to their name, but a lot of their work came against the Republic of Ireland in a 4-0 romp. Aside from that, David Silva an Navas have the goals of record.

If Les Bleus wanted a challenge, they certainly have it. This is a young team that is supposed to be on the up and up to challenge a team like Spain, and this is the first chance that the club has had to do one of the toughest deeds in European soccer. Manager Laurent Blanc knows that his side needs to keep up its defensive intensity. If it lets up and concedes a goal, particularly early, there really isn’t a heck of a lot out there to help the team. Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud are the only two strikers on the roster for Euro 2012, and the best offensive weapon might be Samir Nasri out of the midfield. His goal against England was one of the best goals of Euro 2012, and it might take some magic out of his feet to give France a chance of moving on to the semifinals. Hugo Lloris and his defense are going to be tested by some of the top strikers on the planet, and if Zlatan Ibrahimovic was able to find space against this unit, we can only imagine what Torres and the likes will be able to do as a unit.

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Spain vs. France Match Preview & Analysis: That being said, we just don’t know if the ability is there for these two teams to combine for three goals. There can only be one goal if we are to be winners, and in truth, we aren’t so sure if there is going to be that one either. Spain has been a cagey team throughout this tournament, but France can be quite stingy as well. Don’t be surprised if this one goes through at least the first 90 minutes without a strike, and don’t be shocked either if the French can force this one all the way to PKs without a single ball finding the back of the net. If that’s the case, we’ll take our chances with Lloris to get the job done to get the French their biggest victory since winning the 1998 World Cup on their home turf. Still, the easier bet to make in this match is for a low scorer.

Spain vs. France Punting Tip: Spain/France Under 2 (-105) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Spain vs. France Score Prediction: Spain 0 – France 0

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

2012 Euro Cup Odds & Picks: Croatia vs. Spain Match Odds & Preview

Croatia vs. Spain Match Analysis: Fix Could Be In For 2-2 Draw: The Croatia Euro 2012 campaign might have come across a stroke of luck. The final fixture in Group C for the Croats looked to be the most difficult one against Spain, but thanks to common hatred of the Italians and the desire for both to get through to the second round of this tournament, we could see some real shenanigans taking place on the pitch at Arena Gdansk. Our Croatia vs. Spain free picks, predictions, and tips definitely are calling for a suspect result to say the least.

Spain is the team that is in the best shape in this match. As long as the Spaniards procure at least a point, regardless of what the final score actually reads, they will be through to the second round. A draw of 2-2 or greater though, and they are guaranteed to be the Group C winners and will await the runner up of Group D in the quarterfinals, thus also avoiding Germany until the finals of this event. For Croatia, that 2-2 draw is the key result. Scoring at least twice and drawing or winning would give the Croats the second spot in the quarterfinals out of Group C. That being said, with the mutual result helping both sides, we could be seeing some real antics here, just as we saw eight years ago when Denmark and Sweden played to a 2-2 draw in Euro 2004 to knock this very same Italian team out of this tournament.

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Croatia vs. Spain Schedule and Match Information
Croatia vs. Spain Match Date/Time: Monday, June 18th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Croatia vs. Spain Stadium: Arena Gdansk
Croatia vs. Spain on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Croatia vs. Spain Euro 2012!
Croatia vs. Spain Match Odds: Spain -1 (-125)
Croatia vs. Spain Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over -140)

What we have seen out of Croatia in these opening two matches of this tournament is some fantastic defense. Against Ireland in the opening fixture of Group C, we saw the Croats really dominate the possession of the ball, especially early in the second half when the match got out of hand. Yes, they did end up conceding a goal in the first half, but that was entirely a matter of fluke more so than anything else. The second match against Italy was certainly a heck of a lot more difficult, and though the Italians did win the battle of possession by a slender margin, their seven attempts on target were one shy of what the Croats were able to put on Gigi Buffon. In the end, Andrea Pirlo’s goal in the 39th minute was cancelled out by a late goal by Mario Mandzukic, which gave Croatia the much needed point that it had to have to really have a legitimate shot of getting into the quarterfinals coming into this fixture.

If Spain wants to win this match, it will likely end up doing just that. The Spaniards have been the dominating side here in Group C, scoring five goals against just one conceded, and the truth of the matter is that they should have bagged at least one or two more against the Italians in the opening match. If that were the case, Spain wouldn’t still have work to do to qualify for the second round as it has right now. Losing this fixture would see it out of the tournament in all likelihood, and that is a factor that cannot be forgotten. Fernando Torres logged a double against Ireland, and that was just a part of the massive 4-0 onslaught that ensured that the Spanish would likely be okay in this tournament to get into the knockout rounds. It was clearly the most dominating match that we have seen in Euro 2012 to date, and we really don’t anticipate seeing a heck of a lot more impressive of a showing out of any side still in this field at this point. The Spaniards really are the best team in this tournament, and they are still aiming for that third straight major tournament title, joining their Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 crowns.

Croatia vs. Spain Match Preview & Analysis: Still, we think that that 2-2 draw is just too enticing to pass up. The price on the draw has dipped a bit in this match over the course of the last few days, but we still think that the Euro 2012 odds are going to shake out in such a way that it helps both of these clubs. There just isn’t a reason to try to do anything else. What would be better for the Spaniards? Knocking out Italy now, or potentially having to face them down the road in the Euro 2012 Finals? And for Croatia, this is self-explanatory. Getting into the knockout rounds and keeping its tournament alive is of the utmost importance. It might look a little shady in the end, but we still think that this match has a 2-2 draw written all over it.

Croatia vs. Spain Punting Tip: Exact Score 2-2 Draw (+900) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Croatia vs. Spain Score Prediction: Croatia 2 – Spain 2

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Euro 2012 Betting Tips: Who Will Win Italy vs. Ireland Match?

Soccer Betting Tips for Euro 2012: Irish To Crash Out Of Euros With No Points: After two days of thrilling and chilling soccer betting action on the final match day of the group stage of Euro 2012, we have our first team that is playing with nothing to play for but pride on Monday afternoon. Our Euro 2012 picks today feature Ireland playing against Italy in a game that could be everything to the Italians, or absolutely nothing for either side depending upon how the other game on the Group C Euro Cup fixtures pans out. Check out our Ireland vs. Italy picks for what should be a highly entertaining match.

Irish eyes definitely weren’t smiling on their homeland over the course of the last week. With no points and just one goal to show for their first two fixtures, the Irish are going to be headed back to Dublin once this match is over regardless of the outcome. Anything less than a win, and Ireland is going to finish in dead last in Group C, though we must admit that it was a result that was awfully predictable when push came to shove. For Italy though, it is going to be all about scoreboard watching. Eight years ago, the Italians were essentially screwed out of Euro 2004 when Denmark and Sweden played to a 2-2 draw on the final day of the group stage to knock them out of the tournament. Now, if Croatia and Spain play to that same result once again, regardless of what happens here in Poznan, the Italians will be knocked out of this tournament.

Italy vs. Ireland Schedule and Match Information
Italy vs. Ireland Match Date/Time: Monday, June 18th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Italy vs. Ireland Stadium: Poznan Municipal Stadium
Italy vs. Ireland on TV: ESPN2, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Italy vs. Ireland Euro 2012!
Italy vs. Ireland Match Odds: Italy -1.5 (+120)
Italy vs. Ireland Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over -135)

Italy knows that it clearly has the better team at its disposal, but it needs to find some more consistent offense to make sure that it gets three points from this match. After all, anything less than a win, and even if the 2-2 fix between Croatia and Spain isn’t in, the Italians will be bounced. The only goals of this tournament thus far for Italy came from Antonio Di Natale against Spain, and Andrea Pirlo against Croatia. Still, the 1-1 draw against the Croats was a distinct reminder that matters just aren’t quite right for the Azzurri. They aren’t playing all that well defensively, allowing far too many breakdowns at the back and leaving Gianluigi Buffon with far more to handle than he should. They also aren’t getting enough chances offensively. Mario Balotelli has been rather MIA over the course of this entire tournament, and so too has Antonio Cassano. This was supposed to be one of the best striking tandems in Euro 2012, and that just hasn’t been the case for the most part.

The poor Irish have just been badly outclassed over the course of the first two games in this tournament. Matters don’t figure to get all that much better either here in Poznan. The team has just one goal, and a fluky score at that it was against Croatia in the team’s opening fixture. Since that point, it has been all downhill. There have been seven goals allowed, and Shay Given has had an absolutely atrocious time in net. This is going to be the 100th match for his country for Damien Duff, and he is going to be wearing the captain’s band for this match in honor of that accomplishment. Unfortunately for Duff, he knows that there is nothing that his team can do to advance into the quarterfinals at this point, but perhaps taking three points from the 2006 World Cup champions would do wonders for the advancement of Irish soccer.

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Italy vs. Ireland Match Preview & Analysis: Still, we just don’t see how Italy isn’t going to run roughshod over Ireland like Spain did. Remember that the Spanish absolutely dominated possession of the ball in that fixture four days ago, and there is just no reason to believe that that won’t be the case once again in a very important match for the Italians. Don’t be all that surprised if this one gets ugly early, just as the match against Spain did. Italy is clearly the stronger of the two sides, and we think that about the only thing that the Irish will be happy about, is perhaps a stray goal that gets past Buffon.

Italy vs. Ireland Punting Tip: Italy -1.5 (+120) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Italy vs. Ireland Score Prediction: Italy 3 – Ireland 1

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

2012 Euro Cup Odds & Picks: Italy vs. Croatia Match Odds & Preview

Italy vs. Croatia Match Analysis: Upset Could Be Brewing For Croats: Italy and Croatia are two of the three teams that figure to be in the running to get into the quarterfinals, and these two could be in the decisive match on Thursday. The Italians know that they have all of the pressure in the world on them to take three points from this fixture, but the Croatians aren’t going to go quietly either. Try to beat the Euro 2012 betting odds with our Italy vs. Croatia tips and predictions.

It is clear that Italy’s Euro 2012 chances might come down to this. The team did a nice job surviving, getting a point out of the first match of the tourney against Spain, and getting three points in this match might get the team going once again, especially with what should be the easiest match on the docket coming in the finale against Ireland. Meanwhile, Croatia already has its three points against the Irish under its belt, and it has to find some way to eke more points out of these matches between Italy and Spain coming up.

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Italy vs. Croatia Schedule and Match Information
Italy vs. Croatia Match Date/Time: Thursday, June 14th, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Italy vs. Croatia Stadium: Stadion Miejski, Poznan
Italy vs. Croatia on TV: ESPN2, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Italy vs. Croatia Euro 2012!
Italy vs. Croatia Match Odds: Italy -0.5 (+135)
Italy vs. Croatia Betting Line Total: 2 (Over -115)

Italy came up with one of the best performances that we have seen from a team here on the Euro 2012 odds when it was able to stick with the Spaniards for a much deserved draw. It was a touch and go affair for the majority of the effort, but in the end, the 1-1 score line was probably deserved. Gianluigi Buffon the captain of the Italian team, was one of the stars of the match, as he stopped a ton of remarkable Spanish efforts in his box. It was substitute Antonio Di Natale who scored the lone goal of the match though, and it came right when he got onto the pitch against a sometimes suspect Spanish defense. Don’t think that Italy had a great defensive effort, though. There were plenty of holes that could have, lest perhaps should have been exploited, but thanks to Buffon, the point was procured.

The Croats were clearly the better team in the opening match of its tournament. The Irish didn’t even get a single corner against Croatia, and they really struggled just to get any opportunities on goal. It was a particularly strong match for Mario Mandzukic. He tallied two goals, one right at the start of the first half, and one at the outset of the second half to really put the match to rest. Nikica Jelavic, a man that we warned was going to be one of the heroes for this Croatian team at the outset, also scored the go-ahead goal right before the intermission that proved to be the winner.

Italy vs. Croatia Match Preview & Analysis: There really is a heck of a lot of pressure here on Italy, and we think that it could be in some trouble as a result. This team really didn’t play all that well at times against Spain, and we have to remember that there just weren’t all that many great results in friendly matches coming into this one. Croatia is beaming with confidence, and that could be the difference in what might be a remarkable match to watch. Don’t be all that shocked if the Croats lock up their place in the second round by winning this fixture.

Italy vs. Croatia Punting Tip: Croatia +0.5 (-150) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Italy vs. Croatia Score Prediction: Italy 1 – Croatia 2

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Euro 2012 Betting Tips: Who Will Win Spain vs. Ireland Match?

Soccer Betting Tips for Euro 2012: Spanish To Make Short Work Of Irish: Spain vs. Ireland Euro 2012 is expected to be one of these matches that could get out of hand in a hurry. Both of these offenses have the ability to score and score in bunches, but the top rated team in the world is clearly the superior side from where we are sitting. Don’t miss out on our Spain vs. Republic of Ireland predictions and tips for what should be yet another great fixture on Match Day 7 on the Euro 2012 schedule.

Ireland might become the first team that is knocked out of this tournament formally. The squad already has a -2 goal differential after getting clocked by Croatia, and now, the team has to go up against the best in the world with a match against Italy remaining. There is still a level of optimism in the Irish camp, and that probably comes from the fact that there indeed were some close calls against Croatia, but in the end, this is clearly the biggest uphill battle that any team in this competition has at this point. Spain cannot afford a slip up here after getting just a point from Italy in the first match of the tournament and won’t take this one lightly.

Spain vs. Ireland Schedule and Match Information
Spain vs. Ireland Match Date/Time: Thursday, June 14th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Spain vs. Ireland Stadium: PGE Arena
Spain vs. Ireland on TV: ESPN2, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Spain vs. Ireland Euro 2012!
Spain vs. Ireland Match Odds: Spain -1.5 (-135)
Spain vs. Ireland Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over -120)

The truth of the matter is that the Irish just don’t have the horses to stick around in this match. They had a terrible time in defense trying to slow down Croatia in the opening match of this tournament for them, and they are going to be in even more trouble at the back this time with the attacking Spaniards getting into the penalty area. Shay Given was a nightmare in net, and the argument could be made that he should have been credited with an own goal after a ball went off of the post and off of his noodle to get into the back of his own net. Sure, offensively there were some good chances, but Robbie Keane and Damien Duff really know that they need to step it up if there is going to be any chance of procuring points in this fixture.

Spain though, knows just how important this match really is. With just one point at this point, there is a good chance that at least four more points will be necessary to get into the second round. There also might be a huge difference between winning the group and finishing second down the road in the knockout rounds as well. Fernando Torres was left out of the Starting XI against Italy, and he did little to prove that he should be in the fold, getting snuffed out of two chances in the dying 20 minutes of the match that could have, lest probably should have given his nation the three points and the likely direct route into the quarterfinals. Instead, it was Cesc Fabregas that saved the day, erasing Antonio Di Natale’s opening strike in the second half to put the Spaniards back on terms. Look for this offense to be able to get a heck of a lot more going in this match against a poor Irish defense, as opposed to going up against what at times can be one of the most stout defenses in the world.

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Spain vs. Ireland Match Preview & Analysis: With apologies to the Irish, we just don’t see things getting any better for them. Could they find a way to scratch out a goal in this match? We think that it is entirely possible in spite of the fact that Iker Casillas is one of the best goalies in this tournament and in the whole world. Still, the real issues that we have are in the back for the Republic of Ireland. John O’Shea can’t do this all by himself, and Given looks like the game has just totally passed him by. Look for Spain to get on the board early and often in what should be an easy jaunt, perhaps all the way to the top of Group C going into the final fixtures of the group next week.

Spain vs. Ireland Punting Tip: Spain -1.5 (-130) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Spain vs. Ireland Score Prediction: Spain 3 – Ireland 0

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Euro 2012 Group C: Spain vs. Italy Tips, Predictions, & Picks

Euro 2012 Spain vs. Italy: Spanish Side To Send Message To Italians: The last two World Cup winners are going to be on the same stage at Euro 2012 on Sunday afternoon, and it should be a heck of a clash. Italy and Spain are the two titans of Group C, and they are going to be in for a heck of a fight just to get out of this fantastic group. This is the toughest match for both teams, though. Our Spain vs. Italy match predictions should be interesting to say the least.

Spain and Italy are teams that have a heck of a lot of history. There are a slew of World Cups and European championships between them, but one team is clearly heading in the right direction, while one is clearly going the wrong way. Italy hasn’t won much of anything in terms of matches, let alone major European or global competitions since the 2006 World Cup. Meanwhile, Spain won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, and it is charging to put together one of the most memorable run of results that any team has had in the history of this great sport.

Spain vs. Italy Schedule and Match Information
Spain vs. Italy Match Date/Time: Sunday, June 10th, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Spain vs. Italy Stadium: PGE Arena
Spain vs. Italy on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Spain vs. Italy Euro 2012!
Spain vs. Italy Match Odds: Spain -0.5 (-130)
Spain vs. Italy Betting Line Total: 2 (Over -125)

The Italians know that they have to be quite careful in this match. Tension is already running high for the club, knowing that there are a ton of probes going into the match fixing scandals across the country, and now, to make matters worse, Mario Balotelli, one of the best strikers that the team has to offer, has threatened to leave the competition the first time that he hears anyone shout out a racist remark. That has probably only further enraged the population in both Poland and Ukraine, many groups of which are known as racist fanatics. With that being the case, the defense is going to have to stay organized in front of Gigi Buffon, one of the best net minders in the world. However, Italy might be using a 3-5-2 scheme or something of the sorts just out of a lack of defensive players, and that could make for some real problems going forward for this match and for the rest of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Spain is just a stacked team that is still young and hungry for sure. Fernando Torres must feel like he has a ton to prove for this team, knowing that the last time we saw him on the pitch in a major competition, he was being used off of the bench for Chelsea in the Champions League Final against Bayern Munich. Iker Casillas is still one of the dominating net minders that the world has to offer, and the midfield and defense are just chock full of players from Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are not just the two best teams in Spain, but perhaps two of the best club teams in the entire world as well.

Of late, the Italians have been in terrible form. They were crushed at home by Russia 3-0 just a week before this tournament started, and that came on the heels of losing 1-0 at home against the United States in February. Even Uruguay came to Rome and beat the Italians 1-0 in a November tune up. About the only good thing that we can say about Italy’s form in its friendly matches is that it does have a 2-0 win in Poland, something that might prove to be worthwhile going forward as Euro 2012 heads across the country. Meanwhile, save for a bad spell in the middle of November when Spain was beaten by England at Wembley Stadium and drew Costa Rica in San Jose, the rest of the matches have been absolutely dominating efforts. Just since May 26th, La Roja has a 2-0 win over Serbia, a 4-1 win over the Korea Republic, and a 1-0 win over China.

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Spain vs. Italy Match Preview & Analysis: The Italians just don’t have the same brute force at both ends of the pitch that the Italians do. We really think that this is a match that is setting up for disaster for Italy, as Spain will just flex its muscles far too much to be ignored. This could be a multi-goal victory for the favorites.

Spain vs. Italy Punting Tip: Spain -0.5 (10/13) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Spain vs. Italy Score Prediction: Spain 2 –Italy 0

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Euro Cup 2012: Italy Euro 2012 Team Profile, Schedule, Odds

Italy Euro Cup 2012 – More Match Fixing Scandals Could Crush Italians: The Italian Serie A is always looked upon as one of the best soccer leagues in the entire world. It shouldn’t be considered all that much of a surprise that a ton of Italian soccer players elect to stay at home, where they can play for tons of money and in the comfort of their own backyards. That being said, there are still match fixing scandals going on, and the tournament for the team has been in some serious jeopardy. Italy is going to give it a go this time around in Euro 2012, though we have a real question as to whether or not this team is really ready for this competition or not.

Ironically, the last time that we saw the Italians in Euro 2008, it was a draw that was clearly agreed upon before the match ever got started on the final match day in the group stage that saw them kept out of the quarterfinals. Italy is still one of the more talented teams in the world, but it is also one of the more hated teams in the world with all of the match fixing fiascos. The good news is that Group C isn’t the toughest in the world, though the opening match against Spain is likely to put the team behind the 8-ball. After that though, the matches against Ireland and Croatia, both of which will see the Italians be favored for sure, are on tap.

Euro 2012 Schedule for Italy
Sunday June 10th: Spain vs. Italy 12:00 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)
Thursday June 14th: Italy vs. Croatia 12:00 p.m. (ET) (ESPN2)
Monday, June 18th: Italy vs. Ireland 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN2)

The key to Italian success here in Euro 2012 is going to be the play of Gigi Buffon and his defense. Buffon has been the Italy net minder for quite some time, and winning the World Cup six years ago was clearly the biggest accomplishment of his career. The longtime Juventes goalie is 34 years old now though, and he is clearly at the end of his rope and might be in his final major competition for his country. Defensively, there might be just three in the back, knowing that Andrea Barzagli is going to be out of the fold, likely for the entire tournament. That really leaves Leonardo Bonucci, Christian Maggio, and Giorgio Chiellini as the only experienced players in the back.

The offense and the midfield are significantly different situations. Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, and Antonio Di Natale are all capable of big time games at the front, and all three should be on the field at all times. In the midfield, it is clear that Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi are going to have to be big time leaders. They have played in 155 games for their country between them, and they have accounted for 19 of the midfield players’ 22 goals that they have scored combined in their Italian careers.

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But again, that brings up the question of just how motivated this team is. Manager Cesare Prandelli was mentioning just a week ago that it wouldn’t bother him if his team ultimately ended up not playing in Euro 2012. What type of confidence does that give to this side? Remember that a lot of these players played in some incredibly long seasons domestically, and with all of the legal issues going on off the pitch, there hasn’t been a ton of time of this team to practice together.

Italy feels like it is ranked a tad low at No. 12 in the world right now, but that is largely because of all of the problems that the team has had off of the pitch. It is clearly spilling over into problems that are happening on the field. Remember that this Italian team really hasn’t been all that worthwhile since the end of the World Cup six years ago.

Italy 2012 Euro Championship Tips & Predictions: In the end, it is going to be hard for the Italians to miss the second round of this tournament. However, if they do end up getting to that juncture, they are going to have a heck of a battle against a team like France or England for a spot in the semifinals. It is going to take a heck of a lot of luck on top of everything else for Italy to really be successful on the Euro 2012 odds. Remember that Italy is +1400 to win Euro 2012, and it is a -165 favorite to qualify for the quarterfinals. If you want to bet on the Italy UEFA Euro 2012 odds, be sure to visit BetOnline.com.

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Group C Euro Cup Odds: Ireland vs. Croatia Predicted Results

Ireland vs. Croatia Picks: Irish To Cling To Draw: The Republic of Ireland vs. Croatia odds should be considered awfully tight on Saturday afternoon at the Stadion Miejski in Poznan, as the two bottom feeding teams in Group C are going to have at it in a crucial fixture. Should there be a winner of this match, that team will go a long way towards potentially shocking Euro 2012 and making it into the quarterfinals of this event.

One would think, based upon the FIFA World Rankings alone, that the Croats should be able to succeed in this spot. Croatia is one of the Top 15 ranked teams in the world. Ireland is nowhere to be found in the Top 25. Alas, both of these teams have had their struggles of late in major tournaments. The Irish couldn’t even qualify for most of the events, and even when they are getting there, they really haven’t had a heck of a lot to smile about. They haven’t been in the knockout rounds of a major tournament since the 2002 World Cup, and they have never been in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Euro Cup either. At least Croatia had that epic third place finish in France in World Cup 98, a World Cup that Ireland was not even a part of.

Ireland vs. Croatia Schedule and Match Information
Ireland vs. Croatia Match Date/Time: Saturday, June 10th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Ireland vs. Croatia Stadium: Stadion Miejski
Ireland vs. Croatia on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Ireland vs. Croatia Euro 2012!
Ireland vs. Croatia Match Odds: Croatia -0.5 (+120)
Ireland vs. Croatia Betting Line Total: 2 (Over -110)

On the pitch itself this time around though, the question is going to be whether either side is going to be able to really get their offense going. For Ireland, the man of the hour is going to be Robbie Keane, who is taking a hiatus from the Los Angeles Galaxy and the MLS to make it here to the Euros. He has 53 goals for his country, and it is clear that when he is on his game, he is the best that the Republic of Ireland has to offer. Kevin Doyle should get the nod at the other striker position and he has 10 goals in 48 career games.

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Croatia though, is being a heck of a lot quieter about its plans for this fixture. The possibility is there that the Croats are going to want to keep more at the back to counter what should be a more offensive Irish side. That being said, we just don’t know, beyond Josip Simunic and Vedran Corluka, whether the lack of experience is going to cost the team if that is its strategy or not. We know that Nikica Jelavic is going to be all over the field, just as he was for Everton this year, though he is clearly going to have to improve upon his two goals in 19 career fixtures to help Croatia make it into the knockout rounds.

The good news for both sides is that there is plenty of experience in net. Shay Given has been around this Ireland team for quite some time, and he is used to playing against the highest level of competition in the world. On the other side though, Stipe Pletikosa has played in 91 games for his country, including three here in the Euros, and he shouldn’t be forgotten either.

Ireland vs. Croatia Match Preview & Analysis: In the end, we really think that the draw is the best option in this one. Both of these sides should be full of gusto at the outset of this tournament, and we think that both are going to end up grabbing a goal, and a point.

Ireland vs. Croatia Punting Tip: Draw (11/5) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Ireland vs. Croatia Score Prediction: Ireland 1 – Croatia 1

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Spain Euro 2012: Handicapping Spain’s 2012 Euro Odds

Euro 2012 Spain: Stacked Spaniard Eye Another Crown: To say that the Spain is on the top of the soccer world right now is a bit of an understatement. The team won the World Cup in2010 in South Africa and Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, and it is now the favorite to win a third straight major tournament title this year at Euro 2012. The team is still as stacked as it has been, and the window of opportunity is nowhere near closing yet, so check out the Euro 2012 odds on Spain to win it all once again.

On top of the fact that the Spaniards probably have the best team in the world, they also have themselves a heck of a draw to get into the quarterfinals. The only challenge that they should even remotely have in Group C is coming from Italy in the opening fixture, and even if that match is lost, which isn’t something that is very likely considering the turmoil that the Italian team is in, wins against Ireland and Croatia would easily put the team into the second round of the tournament. Group D isn’t all that special of a group either, and that really makes the road to the semifinals, where likely either Germany or the Netherlands will be awaiting, a relatively easy one.

Euro 2012 Schedule for Spain
Sunday June 10th: Spain vs. Italy 12:00 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)
Thursday, June 14th: Spain vs. Ireland 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN2)
Monday, June 18th: Croatia vs. Spain 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)

If you like offense, the Spanish team is certainly for you. Fernando Torres and Fernando Llortent are both 16 to 1 shots to win the Euro 2012 Golden Boot, and Roberto Soldado isn’t all that far behind at 20 to 1. That being said, there are a ton of players that could easily bag five goals in this tournament. If he can find his way onto the pitch, Juan Mata might be a tremendous goal scoring threat as well, as will Pedro Rodriguez, who plays his club soccer with Barcelona. It could practically be an all-Barca midfield as well if that is what Manager Vicente del Bosque decides. He has just a slew of players to choose from, including Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, David Silva, and Jesus Navas, all of which could start for most teams in the world.

Think that this is just a one-dimensional team that can’t play defense and has to beat you 4-3 every single time out? Think again. Iker Casillas is still one of the best net minders in the world, and he is going to be starting his ninth Euro Cup match when this tournament kicks off this week. In the event that something happens to Casilla, Victor Valdes would easily be able to step in and play in his place. These are two of the best five goalies in the world for sure, and it is no surprise that they play for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

Elsewhere in defense, the Spanish are stacked as well. Sergio Ramos is always willing to contribute to the offensive effort as well, as he has six goals to show for his work. Gerard Pique is almost one of the best in the world at his trade. The rest of the defense might be a tad week, though we have a lot of confidence in Raul Albiol, and whatever combination of Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Alvaro Arbeloa, and Jordi Alba is thrown into the mix. The best part about these defenders? All but Arbeloa are 27 years old or youner. Like we said, this is a team that isn’t going to be going anywhere for quite some time.

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There isn’t a team in the world with a higher FIFA World Rankings than the Spaniards, and there isn’t a team that is even remotely close. La Roja come into this tournament at a 1,456, over 150 points better than Uruguay, who is largely looked upon as one of the best South American sides in the world. The only teams that the Spanish could run into along the way that are ranked even modestly high in the FIFA World Rankings are Italy (12th), England (6th), and France (14th). The rest of this draw is quite easy, and it really should be a competition that the Spanish can dominate.

Spain 2012 Euro Championship Odds & Predictions: It is really hard to think of any other team that you would want to back in Euro 2012. Yes, this is still the beautiful game, and we have seen some odd things happen here in this tournament. However, in the end, this is clearly the best team in the world in our eyes. There is a reason that Spain is a -900 favorite just to get into the quarterfinals, lower Euro 2012 odds than all of the 16 teams that are going to be in the field for this event. Spain is -190 and dropping quickly on the odds to win Group C, and it is the +260 favorite on the odds to win the Euro Cup 2012. Click Here to bet on Euro 2012!

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Euro Cup 2012 Tips & Predictions: Croatia UEFA Euro 2012 Odds

UEFA Euro 2012 Predictions: Jelavic, Modric Hope To Carry Croatia: Croatia Euro 2012 is going to be tough to say the least for the Croats, knowing that they are in a group with Spain and Italy, two of the top teams in the world. Beating the Euro 2012 betting lines could be crucial for Croatia, as the team really hasn’t had a heck of a lot to be all that happy about since finishing in third place at the 1998 World Cup.

Croatia is ranked No. 8 in the world, and it is the team that could be sneaky in this group. Obviously, Spain is the cream of the crop in Group C, but the Italians, the 2006 World Cup winners, are the second choices to come out of the group. Croatia is actually ranked four spots ahead of Italy on the FIFA World Rankings though, so this could be very interesting to say the least. The Croats are beginning with what should be the easiest match in this group against Ireland, and if that match is lost, it is likely going to be a long, uphill battle to get them into the quarterfinals of this tournament.

Croatia Euro 2012 Schedule
Sunday June 10th: Ireland vs. Croatia 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)
Thursday June 14th: Italy vs. Croatia 12:00 p.m. (ET) (ESPN2)
Monday June 18th: Croatia vs. Spain 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)

Manager Slaven Bilic has a few strikers that he really can count on for goals. Eduardo is the team’s best goal scorer right now, as he has 23 strikes in his 47 career matches for his team. Nikica Jelavic was a great player for Everton FC this year in the Premier League, and he hopes that that great season at the top flight of English soccer can get him on track here for his country in Euro 2012.

Over the course of the rest of the pitch, there is a lot of experience. Luka Modric and Darijo Srna both have goals in this tournament in the past, and they are two of the best midfielders that this team have to offer. Niko Kranjcar has 71 appearances an 15 goals for his country, while Ognjen Vukojevin has gotten four goals in his 39 matches for his team. Ivan Rakitic will surely be used as well. The 24-year old has eight goals at 41 caps, and he is just 24 years old.

Qualifying for Euro 2012 was difficult for the Croats. They ran into Greece, a team that went through the qualification process without a defeat. Then they had to take on Turkey, a team that made it to the semifinals of Euro 2008 in the playoff. It’s not that the Croats won that home and home series that was so surprising. It was that the team won 3-0 in Istanbul and held on easily for that 3-0 aggregate victory. Since then, goals have been aplenty in Croatia’s lead up matches to this tournament. A 1-1 draw against Norway was the lowest scorer of the bunch, as the others featured 3-1 finals, a win against Estonia, and a loss against Sweden.

Croatia 2012 Euro Championship Tips & Predictions: It isn’t going to be an easy road for Croatia. The team is +700 at BetOnline.com to win Group C, which seems to be a tremendous overlay when you compare that Italy is +300. The Croats are +160 to advance into the second round of the tourney, and they are +5000 to win the title. We could see how they could get out of the first round if Italy ends up slipping as we could see happening, but after that, the likelihood of facing an England or France in the quarterfinals just doesn’t look all that great.

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

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